« AnteriorContinuar »
:: SERMON 1. Jesus Christ the Corner-Stone.
i Peter, ii. 6. Behold! I lay in Sion a chief Corner-Stone, · eleet, precious : and be that believeth on Him
fball not be confounded. TO the attentive reader the holy Scriptures
continually offer new subjects of admiration and gratitude. Among other circumstances which will excite his wonder and thankfulness, he will notice the accommodating condescension of God to the dulness of human understanding, in setting before men under so copious a variety of appropriate and familiar figures the nature and plan of Redemption through Christ. The lower sowing his feed; the good shepherd giving his life for the sheep; the vine nourishing its branches; the king making a marriage for his son; the houser holder fuperintending his vineyard; the faVol. I.
ther receiving the repentant prodigal; the master settling accounts with his servants; the wheat-field overspread with tares; the net cast into the sea, and gathering fishes of every kind: these are among the images, by which the office of the Son of God, and his dealings with man, are represented and rendered clear to our apprehensions. In the passage now before us the apostle alludes to our Saviour under the description of a maffy corner stone placed in the foundation of a building, that it may unite and bind together the principal walls, and may thus ensure the firmness and the durability of the structure. Christ is displayed to us as the chief corner-Stone, of chosen strength, of inestimable value, fixed by the hand of God himfelf, and capable of suftaining for ever and ever the fabric of the universal church. Under this image Christ was originally pourtrayed by David and Ifaiah. The Stone which the builders refused, the fame is become the bead-stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes (a). Therefore thus faith the Lord God; Be. bold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a fione, a tried sone, a precious corner-stone, a fure foundation; be that believeth on him pall not make baste (6); shall not be hurried into dismay, shall not be confounded. To these words of Isaiah
(a) Pfalm cxviii. 22, 23. (6) Isaiah, xxviii. 16..
St. Peter refers. To them St. Paul also refers in his epistles to the Romans, and to the Ephesians (c). - In several paffages in the New Testament the expressions of David are likewise recited and applied to Christ (d). I propose, therefore, in the first place, to point out some of the particulars with respect to which we are to regard Jesus Christ as the great corner-stone. And I shall endeavour afterwards to illustrate the animating declaration of St. Peter ; that he who believeth on Christ shall not be confounded : and the tremendous warning which it involves, that they who refuse to believe on Christ fhall be confounded for ever.
I. 1. Jesus Christ is the corner-stone of religious doctrine. He is the sole foundation, the author and finisher (e) of our faith. He came from the Father: he is one with the Father and he knoweth the will of the Father. He was in the beginning with God, and was God: and he knew the incomprehensible na. ture and the unchangeable attributes of the Godhead. He knew the perfect holiness nea cessary to obtain acceptance from a God of holiness. He knew the inherent heinousness
(6) Romans, ix. 33. X. 11; Ephesians, ii. 20. (d) Matt. xxi. 42. Acts, iv. 11, ()1 Cor. iii. 10, 11. Heb. xii. 2.
of sin; the extreme guilt of every deviation from the divine law, of 'every instance of rebellion against God. He knew how great must be the sacrifice, for he offered himself to be made that facrifice, by which the pardon of fin, and the restoration of the divine favour, should be procured. He knew by what price, for that price he undertook to pay, the continual grace of the Holy Spirit, by which alone the finner could be enabled to repent, to believe, to become holy, and to persevere in holiness, must be purchased. He was the Son of the God of truth: he was Truth himself: and he came into the world to bear witness to the truth. By his personal ministry, and by the ministry of his apostles, he revealed to the fallen children of men the things which belonged to their peace. By his Spirit he instructed and empowered the facred writers of the New Testament to spread to the most distant regions, to deliver down to the latest generations, the words of etcrnal life. Well therefore may St. Paul affirm that all Scripture is profitable for do&trine (f). Wel may St. John pronounce ;. Whosoever abideih nat in the doctrine of Cbrift, hath not Gud: he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, be bath
boib the Father and the Sun. If there come any · unto you and bring not this doctrine; receive (9) 2 Tim. ii. 16. . .